The Nets face the NBA’s hottest team as four point underdogs at home
The Nets and Raptors will conclude their four-game season series tonight at the Barclays Center as Brooklyn is looking to avoid being swept by the reigning NBA Champs. These teams faced off four days ago at Scotiabank Arena on February 8th. The Nets were able to cover the six point spread in that game, but they ended up losing to the Raptors 119-118 in regulation. Spencer Dinwiddie was once again stellar, as he posted a double-double with 21 points and 11 assists. Caris LeVert was also excellent in this game as he posted a season-high 37 points for Brooklyn. However, the Raptors were just a little bit better than the Nets as they had three players put up 20 points or more in the game including Fred VanVleet who went for 29 in the game. Toronto did manage to pull out the close victory and extended their win streak to 14 games.
Not much has changed in the four days since these teams last played. The Raptors won another game, bringing their win streak to 15 games, which is easily the longest active winning streak in the NBA today and the second longest active winning streak of the season. Meanwhile, the Nets edged out the Indiana Pacers on the road by a final score of 106-105 bringing their record to 24-28 on the season. Despite the win over the Pacers, Brooklyn is still six games back from Indiana for the six seed in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. As for Toronto, they are still the number two seed in the East, but they are six and a half games back from the Milwaukee Bucks for the top spot in the conference. It is possible that Toronto may never catch up to the Bucks by the team the regular season ends. With that being said, there is absolutely no shame in being the second best team in the East and the third best team in the NBA overall.
The Raptors have found all kinds of ways to win during this remarkable 15 game stretch. They have played a number of close games, but they have also managed to win seven games by 10 points or more during this streak. According to ESPN, Toronto has had an average margin of victory of 10.6 points per game during their 15 game win streak. As for the Nets, they seem like they have found their groove despite not having Kyrie Irving in the lineup. Brooklyn was in the midst of a five-game losing streak, but they have turned things around since then and have gone 6-3 over their last nine games. However, one of those losses came to the Raptors. I think tonight’s outcome will be the same unfortunately.
Toronto has bested Brooklyn in every way you can think of this season. The Raptors have beaten the Nets by one point, 19 points, and eight points in their three previous match-ups. The problem for Brooklyn is that they can beat up on mediocre teams, but they clearly struggle against the NBA’s elites. If you want to figure out who to place your bet on, all you have to do is look at the numbers in this matchup. Toronto has a better scoring offense, scoring defense, and field goal percentage on the season than the Nets. They also average more assists, blocks, and steals. The only area where Brooklyn is better than the Raptors is in rebounding (48.2 RPG vs. 45.3 RPG). All the signs tell me that Toronto will once again beat the Nets and complete the season series sweep of Brooklyn. I like the Raptors to cover the four point spread in this game.